Jesus had completed a full circle in his travels (walking), and being back in Cana where he had turned water into wine (the first sign), he met a court official who had a direct link to royalty. This nobleman was so anxious about his son that he traveled from Capernaum to Cana, being away, he could’ve missed this son’s death, because there are at least 24 miles between both towns. This was a huge act of faith on the part of the father of noble-birth, he is truly walking by faith in Jesus as he makes the journey. Walking by faith is prescribed in at least 7 New Testament verses (2nd Cor. 12:18, Acts 9:31, 1st Jon 2:6, 2nd Jon 1:4, Gal. 5:16 & 26.. Paul mandates Christians should walk by faith in Christ in 2nd Corinthians 5:7. Jesus recognizes his faith and heals his son from over 24 miles away!
How did Jesus know who the boy was?
How did Jesus know where the boy was?
When did Jesus know the boy needed help?
Even after the father’s journey, Jesus still inquires into the authenticity of the father’s faith, “except you see signs…, you will not believe”, the father then replies, “come or he dies”. For some reason the father’s faith in Jesus is unwavering, and he holds Jesus in a unique position of power. Do we?
When Jesus said to a grief-stricken Martha that he was “The Resurrection & The Life”, Jon 11:25-27, could you reply? “Yes Lord, I believe…”. There are three other titles Jesus accepts which relates to his power over death. The Way, The Truth & The Life, and the Author of Life, John 14:6 & Acts 3:15.
The father’s journey back home was in faith, and his official entourage would be easily spotted by the messengers meeting him on the road between Cana & Capernaum. Most English versions of the Bible record the verification in their conversation about the timing of the miracle as the “seventh hour”, which in our verbiage would be close to 1pm. So we know the household was awake when the boy’s fever left him and it was not an overnight occurrence, everyone there would have recognized the moment he began feeling better. This miracle was the “second sign” 4:54, and it was different from the first sign, in that it was directed towards the Nobleman and his household in Capernaum. The first sign was directed towards his disciples. Now, he is sending a message of God’s powerful love to new believers outside his group of disciples. They’re faith is entirely dependent on the word of the father, his explanation of when and who pronounced the healing is what engenders faith in Jesus for this household in Capernaum, 24 miles away from Jesus in Cana. When the church prayed for Peter in prison, we are not told how far apart they were between the prison and the house, but it was quite a distance away when Peter got to share his explanation of what God did (Acts 12:1-17). Do you believe God can answer prayers powerfully over great distances and leave you totally unaware of the answer’s timing?